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Earlier this month Auckland hit a major milestone, passing 100 million trips within a 12 month period, bringing us back to the number of trips we had in 1950, a time when the population was just 350k people. Still, it’s an impressive milestone, especially when you consider that it just a decade ago there were fewer than 60 million trips.
Given all the improvements underway, this should only increase in the coming decade and if current trends continue, and assuming the rail network doesn’t keep breaking down, the next decade will see us pass 150 million trips. That’s impressive given where we’ve come from but how does it compare to other cities?
For some time now I’ve been collecting data on many cities around the world with a focus on those from Australia, Canada and the United States as they tend to be the cities most similar to us both culturally and developmentally. However I’ve also started collecting data on some European cities.
First, a few comments about the data.
As you can see, Auckland has come a long way over the last decade or two and on a per capita bases we’re getting into the territory of, or have even surpassed, many of the cities we have looked to in the past for inspiration of what to do. This is particularly the case for the US cities, most of which have seen PT usage decline over the last few years while population has kept on increasing- Portland is a prime example here.
Thinking about the future and all the growth we should have over the coming decade as improvements come on stream then by 2029 we are likely to be seeing around 80 boardings per person. At that level Auckland’s numbers start to look much more respectable.
Just to further highlight how Auckland is changing, this version of the graph below shows how a few of the selected cities from above have changed since about 2010. Some, like Christchurch are understandable but others show many cities PT networks simply aren’t keeping up with population growth and/or have seen PT use decline.
This article first appeared on www.greaterauckland.org.nz
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